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Bertha Szold (Levin) scrapbook


Held at: Bryn Mawr College [Contact Us]Bryn Mawr College Library, 101 N. Merion Avenue, Bryn Mawr 19010

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Bryn Mawr College. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

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Bertha Szold was prepared by the Misses Adam's School in Baltimore, Maryland. She attended Bryn Mawr College with the class of 1895, graduating with degrees in Latin and English. She was one of the first Jewish women to attend the college, attending during the presidency of M. Carey Thomas, a noted anti-Semite. After graduation, Szold taught English at St. Timothy's School in Baltimore until her marriage to Hiram Louis Levin in 1901. Szold had an active home life as the mother of five children. One of her daughters, Eva Milbouer, graduated from Bryn Mawr in 1934, as did Bertha's grand-daughter, Betsy Levin.

She was also heavily involved in various Jewish charities and organizations, including serving as the vice president of the Jewish Children's Society and as the cofounder and honorary vice president of Hadassah, a women's Zionist organization. She also worked in Palestine in the area of resettlement, working with refugee children. She was further involved with Hebrew Education (board member); the Central Scholarhsip Bureau (board member); and the Maryland Society for the Prevention of Blindness. Finally, she was part of the Jewish Educational Alliance and published a translation of "History of Jews of Frankfort" and H. Hansen's "Fair Winds and Fame." Szold died in 1958.

The Bertha Szold (Levin) scrapbook contains the two volume scrapbook of Bertha Szold, Bryn Mawr class of 1895. The first scrapbook covers Szold's freshman and sophomore years, from 1891-1893, while the second scrapbook covers Szold's junior and senior years, from 1893-1895. The scrapbooks were arranged by Szold's daughter-in-law, Alexander Lee Levin '33, and primarily contain typed transcripts of letters written by Szold to her family.

The scrapbooks are housed in two volumes. Volume 1 contains materials from Szold's freshman and sophomore years. Volume 2 contains materials from Szold's junior and senior years.

Volume 1 contains typed transcripts of letters to family in Baltimore from October 1891-April 1893. These letters concern classes, commuting to Bryn Mawr from Philadelphia, social life, class play performances, Lantern Night, English lectures by Miss Thomas, attending lectures and plays, professors, Radcliffe (the Harvard Annex), college expenses, and field trips. Additionally, it contains other Bryn Mawr memorabilia, like admission materials; bills for tuition, rooms, and books; newspaper clippings regarding Bryn Mawr and women's colleges, etc. Volume 2 of the scrapbook contains typed transcripts of letters to family in Baltimore from October 1893-March 1895. These letters are on such topics as: an advising meeting with M. Carey Thomas; academics; social life; suffrage (a lecture on Social Reform in England); the gymnasium; resignation of Dr. Rhoads; college pranks; campus job (Postmistress of Radnor Hall), and oral exams. As with the first volume, this scrapbook also contains various Bryn Mawr memorabilia, including class play programs from 1894-1895; two letters from Mary (Mamie) Gwinn; photos of Bryn Mawr students in gowns; and a commencement program.

These scrapbooks, prepared well after Bertha Szold's college years by her daughter-in-law, are extremely well-preserved and well-organized. The amount of correspondence they contain is unusual for a scrapbook and provides helpful context for the memorabilia. These scrapbooks would be of use to those interested in the construction of the Bryn Mawr gymnasium, the transition period between James Rhoads and M. Carey Thomas; and the academic and social life of a Bryn Mawr student during the late 1900s.

Bryn Mawr College
Finding Aid Author
Cassidy Gruber Baruth
Finding Aid Date
2017 July 7
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The collection is open for research.

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Standard Federal Copyright Laws Apply (U.S. Title 17)

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